Russ Roberts: Adam Smith’s Surprising Guide to Happiness (But Not Wealth)

“Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely; or to be that thing which is the natural and proper object of love. He naturally dreads, not only to be hated, but to be hateful; or to be that thing which is the natural and proper object of hatred. He desires, not only praise, but praiseworthiness; or to be that thing which, though it should be praised by nobody, is, however, the natural and proper object of praise. He dreads, not only blame, but blame-worthiness; or to be that thing which, though it should be blamed by nobody, is, however, the natural and proper object of blame.” Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Many of us know about Adam Smith‘s writing that attempts to answer the question on why some nations are wealthier than others- The Wealth of Nations.  Many have not explored his other important work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which explores human behavior.  Russ Roberts has written a wonderful book on Smith’s second famous book-   How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness.

Reason’s Nick Gillespie interviews Roberts about his new book.

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The Power of Your Action

Action is purposive conduct. It is not simply behavior, but behavior begot by judgments of value, aiming at a definite end and guided by ideas concerning the suitability or unsuitability of definite means. . . . It is conscious behavior. It is choosing. It is volition; it is a display of the will“. – Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

How do you measure a person’s happiness?  It may be more productive to consider happiness relative to other actions.  The father in this video demonstrates that our actions, while to some may not seem logical or productive, may bring value to others.  In other words, it is purposeful.

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Praxeology – The Purchasing Power of Money

Monetary calculation is not the calculation, and certainly not the measurement, of value. Its basis is the comparison of the more important and the less important. It is an ordering according to rank, an act of grading, and not an act of measuring.” – Ludwig von Mises, Epistemological Problems of Economics

Praxgirl’s series continues as we dig deeply into the subject of money.  This episode is full of information.  For many, it may take repeated viewings to grasp all the Mises’ ideas that Praxgirl presents.

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The Power of Giving

“Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.”- Don Goodman, Beck Hobbs- “Angels Among Us”

I may not be able to read the material but I understand the message. I hope you do, too.

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Vernon Smith and Steve Gjerstad on the Great Recession

So, we may officially be out of the Great Recession but are we really? Economists Vernon Smith and Steve Gjerstad present some of their research from their upcoming book.

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So, What is the Federal Reserve System?

George Mason University professor Lawrence White recently shared his presentation on the Federal Reserve System.  Every once in a while, I have clients ask me questions about the United States monetary system or the Fed or the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke.  Dr. White’s presentation is a perfect introduction for the curious.

Follow the link for the slides.

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An Introduction to U.S. Monetary Policy

“Most people find economics complicated to the point of being impenetrable. Of all the subject areas within economics, monetary theory and policy may be the most challenging for the general public. Money itself is a bit puzzling. After all, how did it happen that we give other people real goods and services and are willing to accept little pieces of paper or metal, or even bits and bytes on a computer, in return?” – Steve Horwitz, An Introduction to Monetary Policy

What a wonderful short introduction to the subject of monetary policy.  If you follow the link, you can read the entire paper.

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